Following the presentation to the Parliament on 10 September 2021, the UK government has provided their changes which will take into effect in October 2021.
The list of changes are lengthy however, we have summarised the areas applicable to our clients.
Covid- 19 concessions
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
At present, under the concession, a business that had negatively been impacted by the pandemic can extend their visa provided if they had created the equivalent of 2 two full-time jobs for settled workers at the time of the application, but without having to demonstrate that the job had existed for a minimum period of 12 months.
UKVI have now clarified that the two full-time jobs requirements must be met before applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Skilled Worker route and Tier 2 Sportsperson route
A concession was made as a result of delay in decision making for this visa, for applications made between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2021 allowing applicants to start working for new employer while the application is pending. A change has been made to the settlement rules to allow applicants who successfully applied in the UK during this period can include the time they were waiting for a decision towards their five years required for settlement under this visa category.
Changes to the criteria and evidential requirements required from applicants to, and to improve clarity of, the Global Talent route
The following changes are made to the endorsement criteria as recommend by the endorsing bodies:
7.16 The arts and culture endorsement criteria are being amended to:
- clarify letters of recommendation required by the endorsing body must specifically be from well-established ‘arts and culture’ organisations. This is to ensure that applicants do not seek to rely on letters from organisations outside of the relevant fields and ensures authors of recommendation letters are qualified to make expert recommendations on the suitability of individuals.
- make it easier for applicants who are members of groups, such as internationally recognised orchestras or dance troupes, to qualify. The change specifically allows individuals to submit evidence that primarily relates to the activities of a group but also specifically names the applicant and supports their claim of exceptional talent or promise.
7.17 The evidential requirements for digital technology endorsements are being amended to:
- include being a board member of a product-led digital technology companies as a role that can be used to evidence an exceptional talent in this field.
- reduce the number of examples required for each of the exceptional promise criteria from at least two to at least one.
7.18 The endorsement criteria for science, engineering, humanities and medicine fields are being amended to:
- extend the eligibility period for the fellowship fast track pathway following the completion of an approved fellowship or award from 12 months to five years, enabling more applicant to qualify under this category.
- incorporate the requirements previously set out in paragraph GTE 8.3(a)-(b) of Appendix Global Talent relating to the applicant’s post with the job description and statement of guarantee in paragraph GTE 8.6. This reduced duplication and streamlines the collection of information required by the endorsing bodies.
- expand the requirement to have academic representatives on interview panels to cover research and innovation representatives, in recognition that not all roles will be in an academic setting.
7.19 The endorsed funder fast track pathway is being amended to:
- reduce the length of time remaining on an employment contract or hosting agreement from two years to one year to allow greater flexibility for individuals working on qualifying research, which must be a minimum of two years in duration, undertaken at academic or industry locations in multiple countries.
- amend the evidential requirement so that applicants who have an award listed on a publicly accessible research database accepted by UK Research and Innovation(UKRI) will no longer by required to provide a letter from the endorsed funder confirming their suitability for the award. Where the details of the award are published on an accepted research database, the applicant can provide a link to the award directly or via the Director of Human Resources, or equivalent, at the relevant employing or hosting body. Where the award is not listed on an acceptable database, the applicant must continue to provide written confirmation of the award from the endorsed funder.
- clarify that applicants must confirm through either the letter from the endorsed funder or the link to the approved database that the award is either funded by a one-off grant or award that has been won in open competition or attributed to a large institutional, renewable award that is subject to periodic peer review. A list of acceptable research databases will be published on GOV.UK.
Changes to eligibility requirements for settlement for Representatives of an Overseas Business
Correction was made following a drafting errors made during the Rules changes on 22 October 2020.
Applicants must show that they have continued to meet the requirements of the routes throughout the five year period leading up to their settlement application.
Applicants also no longer required to demonstrate that they were paid at an appropriate salary.
Changes to the eligibility requirements for the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) route
Following a concession made outside the Rules to allow the partner and if applicable, child under 18 of a BN(O) status holder to join the BN(O) status holder following a grant of visa, this concession has now been incorporated into Appendix BNO.
Provision has also been made within the Rules for parents of a child born in the UK to a BN(O) status holder or their partner, or a BN(O) household member or their partner, to allow that child to be eligible for a visa under the BN(O) route.